The Annotated Collected Poems

Edward Thomas, Edna Longley (ed.)

The Annotated Collected Poems

Edward Thomas wrote a lifetime's poetry in two years. Already a dedicated prose writer and influential critic, he became a poet only in December 1914, at the age of 36. In April 1917 he was killed at Arras. Often viewed as a 'war poet', he wrote nothing directly about the trenches; also seen as a 'nature poet', his symbolic reach and generic range expose the limits of that category too. A central figure in modern poetry, he is among the half-dozen poets who remade English poetry in the early 20th century. Edna Longley published an acclaimed edition of Edward Thomas' "Poems" and "Last Poems" in 1973. Her work advanced Thomas' reputation as a major modern poet. Now she has produced a revised version, which includes all his poems and draws on freshly available archive material.The extensive notes contain substantial quotations from Thomas' prose, letters and notebooks, as well as a new commentary on the poems. The prose hinterland behind Edward Thomas' poems helps us to understand their depth and complexity, together with their contexts in his troubled personal life, in wartime England, and in English poetry. 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
The Annotated Collected Poems

Omniscore:

Classification Fiction
Genre Poetry
Format Paperback
Pages 352
RRP £12.00
Date of Publication May 2008
ISBN 978-1852247461
Publisher Bloodaxe
 

Edward Thomas wrote a lifetime's poetry in two years. Already a dedicated prose writer and influential critic, he became a poet only in December 1914, at the age of 36. In April 1917 he was killed at Arras. Often viewed as a 'war poet', he wrote nothing directly about the trenches; also seen as a 'nature poet', his symbolic reach and generic range expose the limits of that category too. A central figure in modern poetry, he is among the half-dozen poets who remade English poetry in the early 20th century. Edna Longley published an acclaimed edition of Edward Thomas' "Poems" and "Last Poems" in 1973. Her work advanced Thomas' reputation as a major modern poet. Now she has produced a revised version, which includes all his poems and draws on freshly available archive material.The extensive notes contain substantial quotations from Thomas' prose, letters and notebooks, as well as a new commentary on the poems. The prose hinterland behind Edward Thomas' poems helps us to understand their depth and complexity, together with their contexts in his troubled personal life, in wartime England, and in English poetry.

Reviews

The Guardian

Adam Newey

Edna Longley, our foremost student of Thomas, writes in her introduction to The Annotated Collected Poems that his influence endures because his poetry "secretes core values, traditions and tricks of the trade". This edition, generously and skilfully annotated, with what amounts to a mini-essay on each of the poems, is an invaluable addition to Thomas scholarship... a fitting tribute to a body of work whose pure clarity of utterance, 91 years after the death of its begetter, still pulses with feeling, thoughtful life.

14/06/2008

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The London Review of Books

Mark Ford

[Longley's notes] often reprise the approaches and perceptions of earlier critics, before developing their own new interpretations. They are, in short, a treasure-trove of information and speculation for Thomas enthusiasts, and while I don’t really like being pushed by notes in a critical edition to read a poem in a particular way, this book will undoubtedly facilitate seminar-room discussion of Thomas’s work, and so help a little, at least, in the struggle Longley would like to foment in university English departments between her reticent hero and the giants of Modernism.

01/01/2009

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